America's political system is immensely flawed
Debate Rounds (3)
1.The two-party system: Now, I understand that in a country as large as the U.S.A. there has to be stability, so no crazies like the Nazi Party of america can ascend to power...But at the same time, this defies the teachings of democracy in the past. Democracy: Demos Kratein-People's rule in greek, was founded in the golden age of Athens-Cleisthenes. It was a political system in which the majority would decide who their leader would be, choosing from anyone (except women and slaves). In time we evolved from that-the abolishment of slavery and the suffragette movement, but the principles of democracy stayed the same. However, in the U.S.A. the system was jeopardized by the two parties-Democrats and republicans. If we take a look at all the countries around the world we see the two-party system rarely and even then it's not as explicit as it is in the U.S. My main problem? It limits the right of the masses. If they are given a republican who is, say, lazy and a democrat who is a hypocrite, do they really have a just choice?
2.The electoral college. This is the largest flaw in the entire system. The president is not elected by the people, but rather by a select group of lobbyists and influental businessmen. Again, limiting the primary elements of democracy. I see some people's point when they say it helps less populated states cast their vote, but what if not all the people in those states agree? What if the entire state is against it? The vote is still cast and no one cares. That means that even if a candidate were to receive 1% from the voters but received most of the votes in the college he would still be inaugurated. See my point?
These are my two main arguments. Please refute them and make your own.
Thank you :D
Thank you for initiating this debate, I believe the American political system is a very pertinent issue, and this debate is guaranteed to be fun. I do still have to debate you, so forgive me if I am rough.
As you are the proposition I should remind you of the Latin rule: Onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat"
As such you are making the claim, the burden is upon you to prove to us that the American system is immensely flawed. Furthermore I should make it clear that I will be playing the Devil's Advocate over here ( I do not in reality believe what I will be advocating).
Let me start with the refutations:
1. My opponent accepts that he has simply hears these things and therefore I would like to to make clear that his ideas' authenticity may further be put into doubt.
2. Allow me to first of all clarify that America is not a democracy, it follows democratic order, but it is the Republic of the United States of America. Hence in the oath of allegiance: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the "republic" for which it stands...". Now let us understand that the two party system is not absolute. Any individual may stand in election. This all will come afterwards, first of all may I criticize your arguments clarity, you start with an example and no where do you delineate your argument, you assume we will get it. Now moving forward let us understand that the two party system is not absolute, third party individuals may stand in elections any time they want to. Also we have to understand that the American system is a self-bettering one. Now tacking this along I must point out you have not given any proof why we must bound ourselves to the principles of democracy and not let them evolve. Also you have not shown how the two party system jeopardizes the country, and you have not provided sources. Lastly your example is besides the point because countries like the Islamic Republic of Pakistan show that even when you have multitudes of parties, you do not necessarily have the best people.
2. You say this is the most major flaw, yet you provide no hard source of people's opinions. Also you have to realize in Athens many people did not have the ability to vote, and there were of course not so many people. People in the electoral college are elected by the people and those in the college are voted on their allegiance, so a person X who supports Obama will be voted he will vote further for Obama, those who want Obama as President will vote for him. If the entire state is against this one person then do not vote him into the college. You yourself stated how it helps votes in less populated areas. Not to mention this way people can vote with relation to the number of Congress members.
Now on to my positive case:
1. I concede that America's political system has some minor flaws, however every system in the world does. As much as we would like it we cannot attain Utopia. That would be foolish. Now let's understand that with multiple party systems people are often more abused. Most of the modern, well to do countries use this system: this I realize may be considered an appeal to authority, but it is not. I am not saying because the bigger countries use it, it is good. Simply, I want to examine the fact that the countries which are currently using this system have a great efficiency. Consider the case of India:
2. Secondly let's understand that third party voters can stand in elections, and if people feel that both Democrats and Republicans are now over they can vote for the Independent.
3. Lastly, since you never gave a large argument and the onus is upon you, this system actually requires both parties to be more active. You are absolutely right when you say voters usually have a choice betwixt these two, so to get the vote these parties constantly fight to better themselves and so win the majority vote.
For these reasons, and of course that you have not substantiated or given a proper argument, I believe that this debate is in my favour.
There are usually more than two sides to every issue. Not every issue can be so easily placed into its appropriate camp. Typically, things are not so black and white. We need a legislature that can adequately represent the diversity of the people. This includes more than two agendas. Some issues get left out of the public discussion all together because they do not fit into either party's platform.The lack of choice creates a "lesser of two evils" voting strategy.
It is simply an embarrassment to the legislature of the U.S.A. when people are elected into office not because they were the best person for the job but because they were not the worst. With every race coming down to only two front runners, the public doesn't have any real alternative to business as usual. Voters need to have a real decision to make. A two party system doesn't provide this. It results in an "Us vs. Them" battle on every issue.
Just because the Democrats are for an issue, that doesn't mean that it should be voted down by the Republicans. When politicians vote along party lines they are doing everyone a disservice. The american representatives are elected so that they can judge for themselves what is at stake with each topic and then make a decision based on their conclusions. Because of the two party system, this rarely happens. Politicians feel pressured to vote along with the rest of the party, regardless of what they think. The result of this is decisions get made by a few of the party leaders rather than by the individual party members. In a two party system, the party in control of the legislature has too much power. The american people are now fare too accomodated to the two-party system, even if it isn't absolute. There are third-parties, but none of them stand a chance thanks to the ignorance of the proleteriat.
2. You fail to see, that the electoral college is an extreme problem because the eventual vote doesn't count. You didn't refute my statement: If a candidate gets, say, 5% or 10% and the other gets 95% or 90% in the popular vote, it is still possible for the loser to claim power. (see http://en.wikipedia.org...). As the link will tell you, in the 2000 democratic election, George W. Bush received most of the electoral vote, but less of the popular vote, proving once more that the electoral college does not WORK. Your statement that the state decides what their representative elector should vote for is false. The electoral candidates are not allowed to vote judging by their own opinion, rather by that of which they were convinced AFTER they were elected. So there is a large chance that they were corrupted, not to mention the voting is ANONYMOUS. So if an elector promises to vote for one candidate, he can simply vote for another one. American politics in a nutshell... (see http://www.huffingtonpost.com... if you are not convinced)
Now to refute your ,,positives'
1.The two-party system, as I said, has its positives, but the case of india is far different. If the two party system was abolished in America, the states would decide in their own frame. It wouldn't be a country-spread election. India is not seperated into different states... I would propose that every state would cast its vote in unison and the candidate that gathers most states would win (so if in a state a candidate got 49% and the other received 51%, the one with the latter percentage would gain that state, in the end, counting the states-this is not similar to the electoral system (read my argument on that and you'll know why).
2. The third party candidates don't stand a chance because :
1.They don't have enough money for campaigns (most of them)
2.Even if they do, most of the american proleteriat isn't even AWARE that there are third parties
3.Never in the history of the US has the electoral college cast 1 vote in favour of the third parties (proving once again my point of corruption)
5.there is something to the "wasted vote fallacy". In tight elections between the major parties, a vote for a Libertarian candidate siphons off support from the major party candidate they are closest too, in this case the Republican one. The Virginia governor election last month was an example of this. Although the Libertarian candidate only got 8% of the vote, it was enough to split the vote and allow the Democrat to win, thus this enables the party the voters oppose to win and they don't want that, that's why voting for the larger party is a sure win...
That's it for WHY the third parties never win and now, a further refutation :P
3.The parties do fight between each other, yes. But you are aware that these fights usually involve: bribing, attacking issues that they might actually agree with and of course, the main weapon of all parties IN THE WORLD: personality assasination...This is when a candidate has done something that he himself may have found immoral and the opposing party continues with milking it...They keep mentioning it, calling him a hypocrite, a liar...Is this really constructive?
Hope you can find a convincing counter-argument :D
So let's begin with the counter refutations:
1. There is a larger difference between a Republic and a Democracy. I think the concept of a republic changes the context of this debate considerably, in a Republic you do not have absolute power, even if you are in the majority. The fact that America has a two party system immensely compliments its being a Republic. A Republic is "a constitutionally limited government, of the representative type, created by a written Constitution--adopted by the people and changeable by them only by its amendment--with its powers divided between three separate branches of government."
2. As I said independent members can always stand, also if you look at these parties compliment each other to cover all the issues. Also there is nothing stopping people from making more parties, in fact there are more parties and they have gotten votes . Also it would be so much easier if you wrote in points, your argument is often difficult to gauge. The people are happy with these parties, there have been no civil wars in America for some time, I think the point of a political system (something you didn't give to us) is fundamentally about maintaining order and carrying out legislation. America has been able to do both, therefore you need a better grounding that the if argument. Your argument that they have to choose from the lesser of two evils has no source backing, is this your own opinion? By the fact that non-Democratic and non-Republican parties have gotten votes, it proves that people do not vote for them when they are presented bad opportunities. Also I think you should clear what exactly you want. Do you want us to abolish the Democrats and the Republicans? I am confused on what model you are presenting: without any sources, and with great conjecture.
3. This is not Russia, you are not Marx let us not call them ploreteriat. Also the situation is different, as I have shown in the above source, third parties have won seats. People have made that choice when needed.
4. This is why the College is good:
1. Certainty of Outcome
A dispute over the outcome of an Electoral College vote is possible"it happened in 2000"but it"s less likely than a dispute over the popular vote. The reason is that the winning candidate"s share of the Electoral College invariably exceeds his share of the popular vote. In last week"s election, for example, Obama received 61.7 percent of the electoral vote compared to only 51.3 percent of the popular votes cast for him and Romney. (I ignore the scattering of votes not counted for either candidate.) Because almost all states award electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis, even a very slight plurality in a state creates a landslide electoral-vote victory in that state. A tie in the nationwide electoral vote is possible because the total number of votes"538"is an even number, but it is highly unlikely.
Of course a tie in the number of popular votes in a national election in which tens of millions of votes are cast is even more unlikely. But if the difference in the popular vote is small, then if the winner of the popular vote were deemed the winner of the presidential election, candidates would have an incentive to seek a recount in any state (plus the District of Columbia) in which they thought the recount would give them more additional votes than their opponent. The lawyers would go to work in state after state to have the votes recounted, and the result would be debilitating uncertainty, delay, and conflict"look at the turmoil that a dispute limited to one state, Florida, engendered in 2000.*
2. Everyone"s President
The Electoral College requires a presidential candidate to have transregional appeal. No region (South, North-east, et cetera.) has enough electoral votes to elect a president. So a solid regional favourite, such as Romney was in the South, has no incentive to campaign heavily in those states, for he gains no electoral votes by increasing his plurality in states that he knows he will win. This is a desirable result because a candidate with only regional appeal is unlikely to be a successful president. The residents of the other regions are likely to feel disfranchised"to feel that their votes do not count, that the new president will have no regard for their interests, that he really isn't their president.
3) Swing States
The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes induces the candidates"as we saw in last week"s election"to focus their campaign efforts on the toss-up states; that follows directly from the candidates" lack of inducement to campaign in states they are sure to win. Voters in toss-up states are more likely to pay close attention to the campaign"to really listen to the competing candidates"knowing that they are going to decide the election. They are likely to be the most thoughtful voters, on average (and for the further reason that they will have received the most information and attention from the candidates), and the most thoughtful voters should be the ones to decide the election.
4. Big States
The Electoral College restores some of the weight in the political balance that large states (by population) lose by virtue of the mal-apportionment of the Senate decreed in the Constitution. This may seem paradoxical, given that electoral votes are weighted in favour of less populous states. Wyoming, the least populous state, contains only about one-sixth of 1 percent of the U.S. population, but its three electors (of whom two are awarded only because Wyoming has two senators like every other state) give it slightly more than one-half of 1 percent of total electoral votes. But winner-take-all makes a slight increase in the popular vote have a much bigger electoral-vote pay-off in a large state than in a small one. The popular vote was very close in Florida; nevertheless Obama, who won that vote, got 29 electoral votes. A victory by the same margin in Wyoming would net the winner only 3 electoral votes. So, other things being equal, a large state gets more attention from presidential candidates in a campaign than a small states does. And since presidents and senators are often presidential candidates, large states are likely to get additional consideration in appropriations and appointments from presidents and senators before as well as during campaigns, offsetting to some extent the effects of the malapportioned Senate on the political influence of less populous states.
5. Avoid Run-Off Elections
The Electoral College avoids the problem of elections in which no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast. For example, Nixon in 1968 and Clinton in 1992 both had only a 43 percent plurality of the popular votes, while winning a majority in the Electoral College (301 and 370 electoral votes, respectively). There is pressure for run-off elections when no candidate wins a majority of the votes cast; that pressure, which would greatly complicate the presidential election process, is reduced by the Electoral College, which invariably produces a clear winner.
Against these reasons to retain the Electoral College the argument that it is undemocratic falls flat. No form of representative democracy, as distinct from direct democracy, is or aspires to be perfectly democratic. Certainly not our federal government. In the entire executive and judicial branches, only two officials are elected"the president and vice president. All the rest are appointed"federal Article III judges for life.
It can be argued that the Electoral College method of selecting the president may turn off potential voters for a candidate who has no hope of carrying their state"Democrats in Texas, for example, or Republicans in California. Knowing their vote will have no effect, they have less incentive to pay attention to the campaign than they would have if the president were picked by popular vote, for then the state of a voter"s residence would be irrelevant to the weight of his vote. But of course no voter"s vote swings a national election, and in spite of that, about one-half the eligible American population did vote in last week"s election. Voters in presidential elections are people who want to express a political preference rather than people who think that a single vote may decide an election. Even in one-sided states, there are plenty of votes in favour of the candidate who is sure not to carry the state. So I doubt that the Electoral College has much of a turn-off effect. And if it does, that is outweighed by the reasons for retaining this seemingly archaic institution.
Direct Election of The President by Harvey G.
5. India is divided into states.
6. You have provided no proof in your system, it is highly based on conjecture. As I have already said people from the Third party HAVE been elected, which means it is certainly possible. The reason people know about them is because they do have some money, and third parties often represent big lobbysts who more than trying to get elected change both the Democrats and the Republicans opinions on matters, once more ensuring that there is a system which is proper.
For the reasons that you did not give me a proper argument, you base your arguments on conjecture without providing any sources, and without giving any proper system I believe the debate goes in my favour.
Good luck Benji!
2.As I said, the reasons of third party candidates are mostly since the pulic is afraid of the ,,lesser of two evils' win (their preferred of the two parties). If one were to, say, vote for the libertarian party, that would prevent the votes from going to the republican party, thus, the opposition (the democrats) would win. When a third-party opens up an idea of their own, the larger parties more often than not pass them along as their own(see: Plagiarism). It is true that several third parties have gotten seats in the congress and house of representatives, even some governors, but never in the history of the U.S.A. Has a third-party candidate been elected president...The reason, as I have pointed out-THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. Let's assume that what you say is true and the electoral college does represent the needs of the constituency, that still wouldn't be enough to elect the third-party candidates...The voters aren't acquainted with the parties and the electors already support one party or another...
3.The argument in this point is resolved in the previous statement.
4.1.Firstly, it's obvious you copied and pasted this, as it says. In last week's election... Obama was elected almost a year ago, if not more. But nonetheless, I shall continue with my argument. As an answer to your copied argument, I would like to point out that I proposed a different system. You slander a system in which the popular vote NATIONWIDE would decide who the inaugurated official would be. What I proposed was different. I proposed it to be statewide, so that the percentage that a candidate achieved in a state would eventually count to his entirety. My idea of the system is of course flawed and you might say even hypocritical as I have stated before that the results of the election should be that of the popular vote, rather than the percentage of states. That is why I would categorize the states. A larger state with a larger population might count more than a smaller one with a smaller population.  This system would be LIKE the electoral college, except there would be no direct representatives to elect the president. You might say that this system is too complicated, that the categorizations would not work, since the population of every state is different. Exactly why the categorization should be effective! If the views of one small state would reflect just as much as that of a larger one (like with the electoral college) the popular vote would, once again, have nothing to do with the election. Thus: categorizing the states into 51 categories would assure a just result (look up ). You might ask for citations. Unfortunately, I found no site that advises this system which I proposed, so I will thereafter refer you to a link, which states why the electoral college doesn't function as many would want it to. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com...)
2. EXACTLY! what you describe here is the exact essence of the electoral college. The views of one region choosing the president (if you believe that this is also a problem within my system, think again. Remember, categorization and plural choice). Electors tend to already be convinced. Therefore, if a southern elector would support romney, all the southern electors would support Romney. This ,,Everybody's president' that you mention is simply stating that the only just way to decide who the president should be is through popular vote, not representative votes... Once again, I feel the need point out that we're really dealing with the votes of 538 individuals who don't care about the view of their constituency, rather their own lobbies and ideologies...
3.The swing states have nothing to do with disproving my point of the two flaws (the college and the two-party system), they are just a representation of where the candidates provide more effort, thus I will not refute this, as it has nothing to do with my point. What we have here is a rebuttal of someone else's statement. I said that the college has flaws and I pointed them out, the swing states were not among them. Another ascept I fail to notice is the connection between the college and the swing states...All you mentioned in this paragraph was the popular vote and the fact that the candidates already have areas secure (thanks to the electors...)
4.This argument only serves my point further as you point out that the electors in small states aren't given the same level of power as the ones in the larger states are. As you say that the marginal victory in Florida would bring 29 electoral votes and the one in Wyoming would bring in 3 electoral votes, it serves my point further by proving that the college is only an obstacle of democratic voting, again, remember what I said about electors (look up  in paragraph 4.2). This argument only furthers my claim of categorization of states working better than the college. While I do see the point of the college stabilizing the populus, we must still consider the facts that were pointed out before as well as the fact that even with the popular vote or the system I propose, the voting percentage would not change. If we are to assume that a smaller state is represented by three electors and that a larger one is represented by twenty-nine, the vote would not change if the electoral votes were cut off-popular vote. The electoral votes are purely an obstacle to say the least (lest we forget )
5.Again, this argument proves my system right. The system I propose would prevent run-off elections (51 is an od number, impossible to get it 50% 50% and again-categorization). And it isn't the electoral college that prevents these ,,run-offs' but rather the two-round system, which you forgot/failed to mention. In the case that both candidates receive the same percentage of votes or one of the candidates doesn't reach the absolute majority, there is a second round of voting. Unfortunately, america does not house the two-round system and thus-the major flaws. This following statement completely shatters the logic of the entire argument: elector run-offs are far more possible than national run-offs... are you actually impying that 538 people are far less likely to split completely 50% 50% than the entire COUNTRY? filled with MILLIONS...These run-offs could be resolved in a much simpler way->the two-round sytem... If you state that one-sided states are a problem because they are already decided who their vote is going to, so what? It's all the population. The fact is that the head representative should be elected by the people he governs, if the country is already decided, let them be, it's what they want... The elector vote actually provides the problem that your argument provides. The pre-decided individual...The elector will vote however he pleases, never looking at the political orientation of the state. The college is nothing more than an obstacle and a tainted institution
6. I'm sorry, I was not aware.
7. My system is not based on proof, it is based on my own opinion. The same could be said about your debate on morals. If it's citations you seek, then citations you shall receive.
1.http://www.huffingtonpost.ca... two party system
2.http://www.huffingtonpost.com... elector college
This took A LONG time to write...It was way harded than yours seeing as you copied 80% of that site :P good luck
Secondly I made no secret that I copy/pasted some of the site's work, hence the ,
But I thought it was way more moral to actually tell people I copied some work, rather than what you admitted to just now: that is copy/pasting in the morality debate without citing it.
1. I feel as if you have conceded that you were wrong, such is the ill clarity of your argument. Or are you suggesting that America should be a democracy? Something which is actually more dangerous to liberties than the electoral college and the two party system (allegedly of course, I stand my ground they are the most beneficial towards providing public liberties).
2. Once more you show no poll, no statistic that people are unhappy with these two partied. Secondly it is perfect if the two parties pass along their ideas as their own. This solves your problem, as the two partied would take account of public opinion, or amend themselves, something I mentioned when I stated how these third parties often have lobbying goals. You have also not spoken of what you want to be done with the Democratic and the Republic party. It seems your problem is more with these parties than the american political system. You had to show (the onus) that the current system does not fulfil the needs of a political system: a. stability, b. legislation. In both you have failed miserably. If the voters wanted another party coming to power, they would have done so. It would be a slow process where they would start voting more of third party people into Congress.
3. So the only refutation to my copied argument (which I did so providing a source, and did so only because I could not argue better than Posner (A Harvard, and Yale law graduate, alongside being a Justice), is that it is copied? You do not address the problems I pointed out in my points, and you do not give alternatives to them. You must understand that we must be utilitarian and think about this from the least harm perspective. The least harm is guaranteed to us by the electoral college (see above post).
4. These individuals do have a moral binding to their constituency, that is why their constituency chooses them. It is extremely rare that they do not vote for who their constituency wants. Yes, it has happened, but oh so rarely has it. Instead the Electoral College has many benefits.
I think the debate ends where you concede that you have nothing to go on but your own opinion. Not to mention you did not refute the problem correctly, and of course that you did not fulfil your onus probandi. You provided no alternative, rather gave a terrific rant.
For this and more vote con,
PS. Lincoln was a third party president, even if he was republican. At that time the Wing Party had control so Lincoln was responsible for making Republicans what they are.
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